Special education students need many different types of materials to be successful in school and at home. A modified academic curriculum and good manipulatives are some of the most important special education materials. Teachers, students, and parents also need books, technology, and other resources to aid in the process of special education.
A whole academic curriculum often includes the subjects of reading, writing, and math. Science and social studies can also be included in a curriculum. Special education materials should be similar to a general curriculum but modified for students who may need more time to understand all the information. A special education curriculum should also show the teacher different ways to teach one particular concept.
Manipulatives are physical objects that are used to teach students in the classroom. These special education materials help students because they give the student something to hold and see while learning. A math manipulative could be plastic blocks that the student can count. An example of a reading manipulative involves letter tiles used to create words. These types of classroom tools can be valuable for tactile and visual learners.
There are many technology aids that are used as special education materials. Computers help teachers to create activities and get ideas for their classrooms. They also help students who find typing easier than writing with a pencil. Computers are used in many classrooms, but there are other devices that can help children speak, read, and become more independent. Technology aids that help people with disabilities are called assistive technology.
Students in special education often need life skills as much as academics. Some of the best special education materials are guides and lesson plans on teaching social skills, money management, and household chores. Students need to learn how to live in the world as independently as possible. Giving them materials that teach life's everyday tasks will help them to live in a home and work outside of the home.
Even though it is imperative that students have the right materials, it is just as important for special education teachers to have materials, too. Teachers should be equipped with books on different special education tactics and teaching students with different disabilities. Most teachers have formal education before entering a special education classroom, but they should also get annual seminars to refresh their teaching skills and education on students with disabilities.